China's Yiwu sends first freight train to Prague

HANGZHOU, XINHUA-- A train loaded with 88 containers of cloth, clothing, shoes, hats and Christmas items left east China's Yiwu City Sunday morning for Prague, the Czech Republic.

It will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, and Poland and travel about 16 days before arriving in Prague. The journey is about half the time for traditional sea voyage.

On August 4, the first train from Prague arrived at Yiwu, east China's Zhejiang province.

Before the launch of the Prague route, Yiwu, often called the "world supermarket," already boasted eight freight train routes.

According to customs statistics, imports and exports via Yiwu's Sino-Europe freight service have grown rapidly, reaching 3 billion yuan in 2016.

On May 13, a train left Yiwu to become the 1,000th freight train linking China and Europe this year. As of that time, China had 51 Sino-European freight train routes, with trains from 28 Chinese cities travelling to 29 cities in 11 European countries.